Fahrenheit 451 Study Questions 1

1. What do firemen do in the world of Fahrenheit 451? Burn books
What is written on the firemen’s helmets? 451
What are the two professional symbols that Montag wears? Salamander and phoenix
What does Montag say he always smells like? He says it’s like perfume to him. Kerosene, a type of fuel like gasoline
Who does Montag meet on his way home? Clarisse McClellan, his neighbor.
Why is it ironic that people are afraid of firemen? Firemen are supposed to help people, but in this society, they burn their houses so people are afraid.
How do the doors work? With your handprint.
What is etched on Montag’s igniter that he uses to start fires? A salamander
What did Montag accidentally kick with his foot on the bedroom floor when he comes home to find his wife passed out? An empty bottle of sleeping pills.
What is Montag’s wife’s name? Mildred Montag, Millie for short.
What are the two machines being used on Montag’s wife, Millie, when she OD’s on sleeping pills? A pump to get the pills from her stomach and a machine to do a blood transfusion.
Where does the laughter that Montag hears come from? (p. 14) “Laughter blew across the moon-colored lawn from the house of Clarisse” and her family.
What does Mildred have in her ears most of the time? Ear buds, which they called “Seashells” or thimble radios
What did Mildred remember of the night she OD’s? She doesn’t remember anything. She says she feels sick, like she drank too much at a party. She denies she could have taken that many pills.
Explain the “parlor walls” The parlor walls are the wall-sized, interactive TVs that are on three walls of their living room.
What does Clarisse rub under Montag’s chin? What is his reaction? She rubs a dandelion. If the yellow rubs off, it means he is in love. “What a shame, you’re not in love with anyone,” Clarisse says. Montag protests, saying he is in love. “It doesn’t show,” responds Clarisse.
According to Clarisse, how is Montag “not like the others?” Montag likes to spend time with her. He listens and looks at her when she talks. Montag takes her ideas seriously, such as looking at the moon.
Describe the Hound at the firehouse. It is a mechanical robot, with eight legs and a proboscis with a needle that injects poison into its victims. It has a very sharp olfactory sense and can be programmed to sniff out specific things.
What do the firemen bet on during dull nights at the firehouse? Which animal the Mechanical Hound will kill first — cat, rat or chicken.
What happens when Montag tries to pet the Hound? The Mechanical Hound grows and slightly extends its poison-filled needle.
What is Montag’s theory on why the Hound reacted the way it did? Somebody at the fire station programmed it to react that way. He thinks somebody is out to get him.
What is Captain Beatty’s reaction to Montag’s suspicions about the Hound? Beatty blows it off at first. Then he looks at Montag and asks, “You got a guilty conscience about something?”
Why has Montag never had children? Mildred never wanted children.
According to Clarisse, what has changed about Montag’s laugh in the short time they’ve known each other? His laugh sounds much “nicer” and relaxed (p. 26)
Explain a school day in the world of Fahrenheit 451. An hour of TV ClassAn hour of sportAn hour of transcription historyMore sports to tire everyone outNo questions, no discussion, no socializing
Explain what teens do after school Go to the Fun Park to bully peopleGo to Window Smasher place to break windowsGo to Car Wrecker place to wreck cars with big steel ballsRace cars
Why does Clarisse find it odd that people find her to be antisocial? She likes to be with people and she is very social. It’s a contrast and contradiction.
Clarisse often talks about how things are different today than in the past. Explain one. In the past, children didn’t kill one another. In the past, firemen put out fires. In the past, paintings in museums included things and people, not just abstract shapes and colors.In the past, billboards were only 20 feet long, not 200 feet long.Houses used to have front porches where people would sit and talk and think.
What alarming news is broadcast over the radio in the firehouse? War may be declared any hour.
What happens to people that try to fool the government? They are taken off to the insane asylum.
Why was Montag foolish to use the phrase “Once upon a time?” Beatty and the other firemen will know he looked at a book of fairy tales at the last fire they set.
What is the brief history of Firemen of America rule books? (p. 32) Established, 1790, to burn English-influenced books in the Colonies. First Fireman: Benjamin Franklin.
How is the fire engine described? (p. 32) Like an orange dragon.
What was different at the old lady’s house? She was there. Usually the police come and haul the book owners away before the firemen arrive.
What did Montag not like about the way things were being done at her house? Beatty slapped her, and the men were making too much noise, laughing and joking to cover up their guilt.
What does Montag do with the second book that falls into his hands? He stuffs it under his arm.
What does Bradbury often compare books to? Birds — like a white pigeon; flapping pigeon-winged books; slaughtered birds.
What does Beatty say to the old woman about the books? “None of those books agree with each other. . . . Snap out of it! The people in those books never lived.” (p. 35)
Who started the fire at the old woman’s house? The old woman — she “reached out with contempt to them all, and struck the kitchen match against the railing.” (p. 37)
What piece of information does Beatty share that refers back to something the old woman said? He knew the quote the old woman was speaking to the firemen when they arrived. Beatty has read bits and pieces of books.

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